Something curious is happening this week thanks to continuing coverage of the Sochi Olympics and American Idol's super-sized Rush Week: It's called Ryan Seacrest Fatigue and it happens to the best of us. Watching the Winter Olympics and having a life is tough enough as it is, but adding RSF just makes things that much more daunting.
Most of your Winter TV shows are still airing, House of Cards is out on Netflix, and throughout it all, there are hours upon hours of Olympic coverage in mystery blocks. You can't record the couples ice dancing competition to get your Meryl and Charlie fix without getting a dose of curling with a side of skeleton, but now that is the least of your worries. The first evening of Seacrest overload is behind us, but already it's taking its toll.
After two full hours of Idol, in which Seacrest was tasked with drumming up excitement for yet another "SUPER EXCITING TWIST" in a series of American Idol's attempts to shake things up, we performed our duty as Americans and switched back over to the Olympics, just in time to find NBC's special correspondent — spoiler, it's Seacrest — telling us all about South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na and her shot at a second gold medal.
Smarter folks would have turned the television off. After all, there's a pretty complete New York Times profile of the skater that tells us all about the things we were learning from Seacrest. We could have curbed the fatigue right then and there, but no. The allure of Seacrest's storytelling — like a bowl of store-brand vanilla ice cream — called to us. And before we knew it, Seacrest's ever excited timbre was coaching us as we brushed our teeth and washed our faces before bed. Like a Tetris addict who sees a sea of shapes fitting into each other when they close their eyes, every moment of silence provided an opportunity for that phantom Seacrest narration.
And thanks to Fox, we've got two more days of entertainment hazard. So without further ado, here are our survival tips:
Let Nature Be Your Guide
If you don't have a fancy sleep sound machine from Brookstone, download an app on your phone with ocean sounds or a rain storm simulator. Remember, silence is the enemy, so even when it's time to sleep, don't take the risk. Banish Seacrest's never-ending excitement from your brain with crashing ocean waves.
Whatever You Do, Don't Read Before Bed
Unless you want the narrator, the protagonist, and every other character to sound like Seacrest. Even the ones who speak in old timey Southern vernacular aren't safe.
Listen to an NPR Podcast Instead
If you need wind-down entertainment between your television schedule and sleep time, choose something where the voice is already determined for you so Seacrest can't creep back in. NPR podcasts like Ira Glass' This American Life are a good option. After all, nothing pushes one iconic voice out of your head like another.
Think of Dunkleman
If your Seacrest Fatigue from a few nights of excessive Idol coverage and NBC Olympics interviews is bad, imagine what the last 12 years have been like for ousted Idol co-host Brian Dunkleman. You will survive.
Hire Idol's Spiritual Guides
Hey, they couldn't really tell us why they were on Idol either, but maybe they could give us some sort of mantra to get "Dim the lights, here we go" out of our heads.
Realize that there will be a time when Seacrest doesn't drive you Bonkers
The Olympics are almost over, which means so are Seacrest's special reports. Eventually, the balance will return and Harry Connick, Jr.'s no nonsense commentary will even out Seacrest's signature base level excitement and we can all get a good night's sleep.
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